Stress is a large contributing factor to sleepless nights. Many of us toss and turn every night because we are just too stressed out. Stress can result from anything and can vary in intensity. Many of us are stressed about money, relationships, work, or even our daily responsibilities.
Because the effects of stress on sleep are well known, Japanese researchers wanted to uncover a resolution to improve stress-induced sleep. Although many people reach for sleeping pills, these can be addictive and yield negative side effects which can worsen the already troublesome problem. It’s important that those suffering from sleep problems, in general, find a solution because poor sleep is associated with obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, memory problems, depression, and other mental illnesses.
Treatment for stress-induced insomnia uncovered
The researchers found that octacosanol reduces stress and restores stress-affected sleep back to normal.
Octacosanol is found in many different foods that we consume such as sugarcane, rice bran, wheat germ oil, and beeswax, to name a few. The crude extract of octacosanol is policosanol and both have been used in humans for a variety of medical problems.
The researchers administered octacosanol to mildly stressed rats and found that the stress hormone cortisol was reduced. Furthermore, these mice were able to sleep normally when they previously could not due to stress. The researchers concluded that octacosanol not only reduces stress but improves sleep. Therefore, octacosanol may potentially be a safe way to treat humans suffering from stress-induced sleep.
Because octacosanol is food-based, it’s a safe treatment to use in humans and there is no real concern for unwanted side effects.
Currently, octacosanol supplements are used to treat cholesterol, lipid metabolism, and improve strength in humans.Research lead Mahesh K. Kaushik concluded, “Future studies include the identification of target brain area of octacosanol, its BBB permeability, and the mechanism via which octacosanol lowers stress.”